AppleWorld UGU Online: A Legacy Tool Reawakened

AppleWorld User Group University (AWUGU) is returning after a long hibernation to once again share Apple user group knowledge and experience among its members. Originated in 1987 at Apple World in Boston, our last AWUGU session was in 2004 at Macworld in San Francisco.

User Group University was a conference for leaders of Macintosh User Groups (MUGs), which are now known as Apple User Groups (AUGs). Classes covered such topics as “Marketing Your User Group” and “How to Get Young People in Your Group”, which are still important discussions today. AUGs have long been good places for making new friends, finding Apple-loving buddies, boning up on technical expertise, finding solutions to related problems, and sometimes finding a good deal on hardware and software.

While the Macworld Expo may be a fond memory, there’s still value in gathering around the topics that interest the Apple user group community. The Apple User Group Advisory Board (UGAB) has decided to add a monthly interactive forum to its Locator, Bulletin, website and support services which would bring back the spirit, education and enthusiasm of the original AWUGU.

The mechanism for this forum will be based on the following items:

  • A one-hour session held on the third Monday each month in the U.S. only
  • Online participation by Apple user groups leaders via Webex
  • A new topic each month, featuring a short presentation followed by a Q&A
  • Participant suggestions for improving membership services
  • A website for posting information

The first AWUGU Online meeting of AUG leaders is scheduled for 8:00pm, CST, April 20, 2020. In view of the COVID-19 vulnerability of our greying members, VR and streaming meetings will be our topic. The facilitators and faculty for the presentation and discussion will initially be members of UGAB. Future sessions will also include special guests and interesting topics. A schedule of meeting dates and topics will be distributed to participants in the near future, and updated regularly on the website, which will also include highlights from previous meetings.

In order to become a participant, any interested AUG leader must first register with the AWUGU Coordinator by emailing their contact information to It must be understood in advance that this registration means that any information received hereafter may be shared with all participants in the forum, but will not be used for any advertising or solicitations.

The reawakening of AWUGU services is exciting and challenging. It is based on the importance of sharing valuable knowledge and experience to support the efforts of Apple user groups everywhere.


March’s Featured Vendor: Koingo Software

Odds are good that you have used Koingo software, considering that the company’s history goes back more than 25 years. From their beloved Contact Keeper and Password Retriever running on Mac OS 8, to today’s amazing apps for iOS and Mac OS, their apps are both beautiful and practical. Koingo’s current line includes MacPilot 11, helping users to harness the phenomenal power of UNIX with the elegance and ease of Macintosh, and the innovative Data Guardian 5, making entering and securely saving a wide range of data, including credit card numbers, shopping lists, or even journal entries, easy.

No matter what you collect or track, their Librarian Pro 5 helps you see all of your items at a glance on a virtual bookshelf, in a list, or in cover flow. And, their AirRadar 5 can not only use advanced GPS technology to map available WiFi signals but also provide insight to optimizing your home network and reducing interference from other signals. And, this is just a glimpse of their wide product line.

Why not use Koingo Software offerings for your next meeting topic? (more…)

Meeting Ideas: MacBook Air – Then and Now

Your members have seen the new announcements and have questions. The good news is that ASW and have the answers. Why not use ASW’s white sheets as the basis for your next meeting topic?

This month, take a look at “MacBook Air – Then and Now” (L581386A-en_US) and “USB-C accessories for iPad Pro” (L581398A-en_US).

Ambassadors: March is a great month to check out ASW offerings.

Randy B. Singer of MacAttorney: Macintosh Email Software

MacAttorneyRandy Singer, leader of the 9.000+ member strong MacAttorney User Group, co-author of multiple editions of the well-loved Macintosh Bible, author of the ABA’s The Macintosh Software Guide for the Law Office, writer of the MacAttorney Newsletter, and popular presenter, has recently added a new offering to his beloved Macintosh Software Web site. From Email clients, to Email utilities, to archiving your mail, Randy offers great guidance.

Check it out!

MacAttorney Email Software Page

Meeting Ideas: Staying Connected While Staying Safe

While members are rightly concerned about COVID-19 and the dangers it presents, they also may have a greater need of community and connection during times of stress and isolation.

Two great articles by Graeme Moffatt and Tom Piper offer a look into streaming meetings, so that your members can stay connected even while they stay home. Recent discussions on Aug-D offered other ideas as well. Randy Singer suggested using the Second Life platform (who knew it even has an Apple Store?). Paul Scott suggested using Zoom’s video conferencing software, and Virginia Chilcote’s group meets via Facebook. George Rubin even invited readers to an online Zoom user group meeting for NaplesMacFriends while Macbeth Vannoy gave a thumbs up to the ideas offered.

Check out these past articles on ways to stream your group’s meetings:

How To: Video Streaming Your Apple User Group Meeting by Tom Piper

How to Live Stream User Group Meetings by Graeme Moffatt


Randy B. Singer of MacAttorney: Free Macintosh Software

Randy Singer, leader of the 9.000+ member strong MacAttorney User Group, co-author of multiple editions of the well-loved Macintosh Bible, author of the ABA’s The Macintosh Software Guide for the Law Office, writer of the MacAttorney Newsletter, and popular presenter, has recently updated his popular Free Macintosh Software Web site. He updated the list to ensure compatibility with 64-bit and added new products, including FreeOffice. 

Check it out!

KansasFest 2020: Goodbye 2019 – Welcome 2020

Robert Woodhead of Sir-Tech Software, well-known as the co-creator of the Wizardry series of computer role-playing games, will be this year’s Keynote speaker as KansasFest 2020 celebrates the 43rd anniversary of the Apple II in Kansas City, Missouri from July 121-26.

With hands-on workshops and so much more, there are experiences to be had and memories to be made at KansasFest. Meet new friends, learn new things, enjoy the HackFest, compete in the Wacky Tie contest, and remember the golden age of the Apple II. Take it from past attendees: You will be more than glad that you attended.

Check out last year’s Keynote and group photo – be part of this year’s event:

Learn more.


Meeting Idea: Use Voice Control on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Need a short how-to presentation for your group’s next meeting? Why not use Apple Support’s Voice Control Article for a quick and interesting topic?

This month, take a look at “Use Voice Control on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch”

Ambassadors: February is a great time to use Apple Support

Meeting Idea: Apple News – Special coverage of the 2020 presidential election

It can be hard to find reliable and trustworthy news in this election cycle. The good news is that Apple has just released a new resource: Coverage of the 2020 Election from Trusted News Sources, Curated by Apple News, with reporting and analysis from ABC News, CBS News, CNN, FiveThirtyEight, Fox News, NBC News, ProPublica, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TIME, USA Today and others. The resource will cover curated news and guides related to all political viewpoints, often in real time, from the primaries, to conventions, November election, and everything in between. 

This month, check out Apple News.


Meeting Idea: Apple Maps

Need a presentation for your group’s next meeting? Why not offer a look at the new Apple Maps? You already know that the new Apple Maps provides better road coverage and pedestrian data, more precise addresses, and amazingly detailed land cover, but did you know there are lot of new features? Look Around’s high resolution imagery, Collections list-building capabilities, one-tap navigation via Favorites, flight status, Indoor Maps for airports and malls, Share ETA, real-time transit, Siri Natural Language Guidance, proactive suggestions, and Flyover make for a great experience.

This month, check out Apple Maps.

Ambassadors: February is a great month to check out Apple Newsroom offerings.